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Poster: billymays55 Date: Jul 23, 2013 5:26pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Made In USA (1966)

I can't find a registration and it has no copyright notice. Am I missing something?

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2013-07-24 00:26:56

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Poster: larus Date: Jul 24, 2013 4:44am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Made In USA (1966)

It is a French film, and there are additional factors that come into play for foreign films due to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994. The act restored US copyright for foreign films that had fallen into the US public domain through non-compliance with US Copyright law, as long as a few conditions are met. Check out USCO Circular 38b for details.

Made is USA clearly fulfills three of the four conditions needed to secure a US copyright restoration:
-it has a French author (director Jean-Luc Godard), France being a member of the World Trade Organization
-it was under copyright in France as of January 1st, 1996 (French copyright terms run for author's life + 70 years), the effective date for US copyright restoration
-it was published in France more than 30 days before its publication in the USA (actually 40 years in this particular case, since the film wasn't released commercially in the USA until around 2009)

The last condition is that the film must have fallen into the US public domain as a result of not complying with US copyright formalities (such as renewal registration or the inclusion of a copyright notice). One issue is that the film was vaguely inspired by a Donald Westlake novel, for which director Godard hadn't paid any adaptation rights. As a result, the film wasn't released in US theaters until after Westlake's death.
I don't know where this factoid leaves us in regard to the fourth condition. Is a foreign work that violates a US copyright considered to be automatically deprived of US copyright protection as a result, or is such a violation a separate matter to be settled in court? How serious is the violation to start with (how much of Westlake's novel made it into the film)? Has the issue been settled with Westlake's estate in the meantime?
This sounds like a situation where you have to be a lawyer or a judge to figure out exactly what is going on.

On the surface, it looks like the film qualifies for US Copyright restoration, with a 95-year term running until 2061. But it's hard to be sure.

This post was modified by larus on 2013-07-24 11:44:38

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jul 24, 2013 10:14pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Made In USA (1966)

Yes, because the film remained unpublished in the US its copyright would be automatically protected by GATT/URAA. However, it is possible that the 95 year copyright clock starts ticking when it was published in the US, not when it was published in France. It may also be possible that the 120 creation/95 publication term for unpublished works takes effect and the copyright would expire in 2086.